Meanwhile, Albion only finished one place above the drop zone during a season in which they changed bosses twice and were never able to match the top-half standards that they set in 2013-14.
The former Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End boss has brought in as many as eight players to try to ensure that the Baggies do not find themselves in the same perilous position come May.
Ex-England international centre-back Joleon Lescott is arguably the marquee signing, but the 31-year-old is unlikely to feature at The Hawthorns on Saturday as he nurses a knee problem. James Morrison, Stephane Sessegnon and Gareth McAuley will also probably miss out.
Strengthening the defence has been a priority for Irvine, with four full-backs recruited and several bids rebuffed for Burnley target Craig Dawson. Jason Davidson and Sebastien Pocognoli will vie for the left-back spot and Liverpool loanee Andre Wisdom and Cristian Gamboa likewise on the other flank.
Their only notable attacking addition, £8.5m club-record signing Brown Ideye, is a doubt for this weekend as work permit issues continue to delay his West Brom career after his move from Dynamo Kiev.
Craig Gardner, who left Sunderland to join the Baggies at the end of last season, should be handed a debut, but Billy Jones, who moved in the opposite direction, is a fitness worry for the Black Cats.
The 20-year-old forward, who was the subject of a failed £4m bid from West Ham United this week, played a major role in Sunderland's unlikely escape last term, as did Fabio Borini, who continues to debate his future, with Liverpool having accepted a £14m bid from the Wearsiders for his services.
Poyet may not have been able to get the Italian through the door yet, but Patrick van Aanholt and Jack Rodwell could be smart acquisitions and are in line for debuts in the West Midlands. Costel Pantilimon may have to be patient, though, with Vitor Mannone expected to retain his place in goal.
Possible starting lineups
West Brom: Foster; Wisdom, Dawson, Olsson, Pocognoli; Gardner, Yacob, Mulumbu, Brunt; Berahino, Anichebe
Sunderland: Mannone; Vergini, Brown, O'Shea, Van Aanholt; Larsson, Cattermole, Rodwell, Johnson; Fletcher, Wickham
Sports Mole says: 0-1